Tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up in Pretoria, South Africa, and went to a few different schools including Pretoria Boys High School which both my father and grandfather attended.
Fun fact: I briefly overlapped with Elon Musk in high school — his final year was my first at the school. After high school, I went straight to work for KPMG and completed my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of South Africa.
Can you tell us about your background?
I qualified as a Chartered Accountant and obtained the CFA Charter. The logical step was a role in equity research, so I joined Deutsche Bank in South Africa.
I moved quite quickly onto the sales desk and then joined the sales team in London. I later ran a prop trading book and then worked in the corporate and hedge fund derivatives structuring group.
My last role there was as Global Co-Head of Prime Finance with responsibility for Deutsche Bank’s $400bn securities financing balances across prime brokerage, delta-one derivatives, securities lending, listed derivatives & clearing for 400+ traditional and alternative investment managers.
I then joined Citadel where I ran Counterparty Strategy and Central Funding for the $40bn hedge fund. And my most recent role prior to joining Blockchain.com was at crypto exchange CrossTower, as their Chief Strategy Officer.
What was it that first got you interested in crypto?
My interest began with blockchain technology, basically because I’m an accounting geek and I find the concept of ledgers fascinating.
Blockchain technology itself has resulted in a separation of credit creation and recordkeeping — representing a fundamental shift that will entirely change the way finance operates. How could I not be a part of that?
If you could achieve one thing in your new position, what would it be?
Blockchain.com already has one of the biggest and most profitable institutional businesses in crypto. I aim to make us number one.
What advice would you give to someone hoping to get into your line of work?
I encourage people to move around their organization, learn as much as they can about as many things as they can, communicate and work well with people, learn to exercise good judgment, and adapt to changing circumstances.